higher ed

“Hella Drop Shadow”: Presenting and Teaching in the Era of the Backchannel #HighEdWebNotes

Posted by on Nov 20, 2010 in conference, higher ed, opinion, pseweb, socialmedia

Abstract:

As Twitter’s growth and hype continue, it seems like everyone is getting in on the act — athletes, actors, politicians, and even educators are joining the virtual conversation. But what happens when that virtual conversation becomes the main event? How should presenters and educators prepare themselves for this reality? And what responsibilities do audience members have when thoughts shared amongst friends can suddenly become “trending topics?’ Join us for a conversation focused on the need to understand how the crowd in the cloud and the sage on the stage can coexist to create an environment of engagement, respect, and conversation, including first-hand observations of some recent “tweckling” incidents (some closer to home than others).

Presenters:

  • Robin Smail, Disruptive Technologist, Penn State University
  • Patti Fantaske, IT Specialist, Information Technology Services, Penn State University

  • Lori Packer, Web Editor, University of Rochester

Notes:

How powerful is it? Of all the ppl who weren’t here last year, only one person hadn’t heard about “hella drop shadow” (aka the Great Keynote Meltdown of 2009).

Backchannel has always been around:

  • now we have a megaphone
  • no longer contained to geo-physical space
  • not just public, it is pseudo permanent. It is findable.

Social media is forcing us to change how we do things.

Monitor the online and in room backchannel – speakers are partnering to watch each other’s back(channel)s.

The days of fifteen bullet points per slide are over: unless of course you are using an accepted new technology such as Google Wave, or Prezi.

Challenge for speakers is to be compelling enough for the audience to pay attention.

Are presentations many to many now?

There needs to be a referee – an ombudsperson – who stops and says there is a question on Twitter, please answer it.

Backchannel in the Classroom:

  • Hotseat – participate via Twitter or Facebook, via laptop or mobile. Purdue University
  • Harvard Question Answer
  • Goal with software is to not require users to change their behaviour.

Backchannel can go bad on good speakers:  “spectacle at web 2.0 expo … from my perspective” (dannah boyd)

  • dannah is a brilliant academic and sought after speaker who had a negative backchannel experience when presenting at web2.0 expo (she was the only academic speaker at the event and her format was much different than that of the non-academic speakers)

The same way we can tweak online ads from day to day, minute to minute to get the best performance possible … Conferences/events can use the backchannel to provide the best experience possible.  They can protect the speaker, act as a moderator, and can act on issues impacting the experience of the attendees. i.e. Mark is able to hear the wifi isn’t working and get it fixed.

With danah boyd, did the organizers fail? Putting the backchannel onscreen with the speaker – taking away the audiences choice whether to pay attention to the speaker or go into the backchannel. dannah also didn’t know the set up of the stage/backchannel screen until she got onto stage.  Is enough thought going into the physical and tech set up at events? Over and over speakers can’t see their slides, the screen is too dark, or in this case, the panelists are behind a podium and can’t be seen by the audience.  At eduweb09, the podium where my laptop was setup was about 20 metres from the screen where the slides were shown – to point to the slides, I had to jog across the stage and talk and point, and then jog back across to click forward to the next slide.  Could have been improved if screen and podium were closer to each other, or if a laser pointer had been provided, or if the speaker had a remote control clicker.

As a speaker, I have a choice to be scared or to take control and own (the backchannel).

The audience is the paying customer.

Rule with radio, television is that when it goes south – you end it. No matter how long the session is supposed to be. Used to be at you walked out, now people enjoy watching the crash too much to look away.

My take from hella drop shadow at #heweb09 was that the speaker and his content did not match the audience.  Maybe he was a poor selection, or maybe (definitely) he was poorly prepared (for us).  It is critical to know who you are talking to – what they know, what are they interested in, what’s their background. That said, was there any value in leaving the speaker on stage? He couldn’t be heard, his slides were sloppy and unprofessional, and his content was out of date and self-driven.  I’ve never taken a speaker off stage, but I’ve definitely considered it and watched the backchannel and audience for cues that things were headed South.  Would I have the guts to stand up and end a presentation if it were of no value to the audience and damaging to the speaker? I hope so – but I haven’t yet.

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Bootlegger: Email + Facebook + Contest 2

Bootlegger: Email + Facebook + Contest

Posted by on Nov 8, 2010 in higher ed, howto, marketing, pseweb, socialmedia

Just got this email from Bootlegger – it caught my eye for two reasons.  First, it uses a Custom FBML tab that displays differently depending on whether or not the visitor is a fan. Second, I really like the way that the display images uses white spacing.

Bootlegger Jeans Facebook Page - Custom FBML Tab - Non-Fan View

Above: The Bootlegger Fan Page if you aren’t a fan …

Take a look at the display picture.  It is very simple, but the spacing between the photo of the models, and the brand creative below the photo, makes it seem like Bootlegger has managed to earn themselves two display images instead of one.  Because Facebook has a white background – all you’ve got to do is throw in some white spacing and fake it.

Below: The Bootlegger Fan Page if you are a fan …

Bootlegger Jeans Facebook Page - Custom FBML Tab - Fan View

Here’s what’s going on: Facebook is checking to see whether each visitor is a Facebook Fan of Bootlegger.  If they are a fan, then they are shown specific content.  If they are not a fan, they are shown completely different content.

I think this is really effective! What could be more clear than the giant LIKE with a big blue arrow.  It is also very easy to do

A few more screenshots:

Bootlegger Jeans Website - Contest Landing / Registration Page

Above: The contest landing page for Bootlegger’s become a fan and win a $500 shopping spree contest.

Below: The email campaign sent out to Bootlegger’s customer database, promoting the shopping spree contest.

Bootlegger Jeans Contest Promo Email


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Presentations 2K9

Posted by on Oct 13, 2009 in conference, higher ed, marketing, mobile, socialmedia

In a fit of organization, I’ve created a page that embeds the presentations that I’ve put together over the last year, as well as links to presentations I gave while at Academica Group Inc.

Here are a few that you might be interested in:

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eduWEB 2009: “Web Content Provider 101 — When Knowing How to Type Just Isn’t Enough”

Posted by on Jul 28, 2009 in conference, higher ed

Presenter: Terri Vaughan, Web Customer Support Specialist, Clemson University

Abstract:

Are you one of the lucky individuals who provide support for your organization’s Web content providers who have little, if any, Web experience? Does your organization think typing and word processing skills are all that are needed to be a Web content expert? Is the “Webmaster” role part of a job description’s “other duties as necessary,” If you answer yes to these questions, this presentation is for you. You can transform your Web content providers into Web content experts by teaching a few simple skills. Reveal the “magic” of the internet and how it differs from “the Web.” Show how their Word skills can help them create interesting and informative Web content. Explain writing for print and writing for Web and why it’s important to know the difference. Inspire your content providers to learn these skills and more to transform them into Web content experts and you into a Web support genius!

Notes from presentation …

Many content providers given the job without volunteering and without specific skillset (they can type).

What they want:

  • Someone else to do it for them.
  • Want their web files and folders to be organized like on their desktop.
  • To never learn markup.
  • Drag and drop.
  • Word like interface

What they get:

  • Unfamiliar file structure.
  • Inadequate graphics tools – training.
  • Unclear or hard instructions.

What they do:

  • Put off content.
  • Insert improperly formatted graphics.
  • Create unfriendly urls.
  • Upload documents instead of web pages. (Don’t make users download.)

Clemson is on cascade, good because feels like word processing. Content providers are happy. Don’t have the other skills

What do they need:

  • Adequate technical experience.
  • Learn web best practices.
  • Easy to use img editting tools.
  • Ability to adapt print to web.

What we should do:

  • Select staff w the right skills.
  • Develop training program.
  • Require attending training.
  • Provide positive reinforcement.
  • Periodically check on their web and offer positive as well as support.

Training Regimen:

  • Basic computer skills
  • How the web works
  • Web best practices
  • Multimedia formatting and best practices
  • Simple tips for writing for web
  • Site specific hands on training w tools
  • Basic html

How to teach Content Providers:

  • Show them confidence
  • Avoid tech speak
  • Explain why skills are necessary
  • Analogies that they can relate to
  • Entertain and engage during and after
  • Follow up w reminders, cool tricks and compliments
  • If you can compare it to ms word, they will get it.
  • Stress the increase in their marketability.

Content Providers Love:

  • Copy paste from word
  • Activate previous version of updated page
  • Restore accidental deletions
  • Wysiwyg
  • Seeing their content live right away

Summary:

  • Clemson has 460 content providers. Manual monitoring process. Run report to see what’s been touched. Go out and look at their sites – this is what my job should be.
  • Clemson redesign had 4 templates – full, left, left + spotlight, right, in multiple looks.
  • Decision makers don’t understand web any better than admin
  • Training infinitely better when one on one
  • With workflows, someone needs to be in charge.
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eduWEB 2009: “I can do THAT with Google?” by @bradjward, blue fuego

Posted by on Jul 21, 2009 in conference, higher ed

Presenter: Brad J Ward, CEO – Blue Fuego

Abstract: I will walk through many of Google’s services and products and show attendees how they can use them to increase productivity within their workplace as well as provide a better experience for their website visitors.Sites featured include, but are not limited to, Google Docs, Maps, Alerts, Webmaster Tools, YouTube, Analytics, Forms, GTalk/GChat, Blogger and more.

Notes during presentation …

Recommended Reading: Free, Chris Anderson

First step: get a Google account that you will use for all of this …

Thought: stop and think whether other staff will ever need access – should you create a corporate Google account instead of using your personal one?

Next: set up Google Alerts – great way to get buzz about your institution.

Thought: I am almost anti-google-alerts … relying too heavily on it can cause you to miss a lot of important web content/buzz.  Remember to regularly search your brand (you’ll be shocked by how much didn’t show up in your alerts).

Brad’s Experience: Brad found out that Butler’s $13K mascot costumes had been stolen via a Google Alert.  Caught it early enough to hitch a ride with the buzz and blow tweets and youtube out of the water, even get mass media attention.

Thought: Best practice is to track down specific mentions of your brand, individual applicants commenting about their school decision.  Don’t try to do this for every social mention. Just don’t. Catch what you reasonably can, but unless you have a social army, it’s not realistic to respond to every tweet, blog post, facebook note, discussion thread. If you end up getting them all – great, but don’t hate on yourself for getting 90%.

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